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Selling a house and capital gains tax

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I have a friend (no, it's not me!) who owns a house outright which they rent out. They also have a house they live in which has a mortgage on it which they have been in for about five years.


They are considering selling the rented out house but have heard they will have to pay capital gains tax on the sale price.


They've heard that if they put their name on the Council Tax and utility bills for six months the house will be back in their name again and they'll be able to sell it without paying the capital gains tax.


I'm totally out of my depth and can't advise. Is this true? If not, is there a way round paying capital gains tax?


I know this has been discussed on threads a couple of years ago (I searched) but laws change and so do loopholes.

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From the HMRC website :


Property - including land, buildings and leases


Most property is liable to Capital Gains Tax. You must work out the gain or loss if you sell or dispose of it.


Types of property liable to Capital Gains Tax include:


a second home

a property that you've rented out

business premises, such as a shop or a farm

land, such as agricultural land


However, if you sell your main home - even though the asset is liable to Capital Gains Tax - you may qualify for Private Residence Relief. This may mean there's no tax to pay.



However, im sure there will be some financial wizard along shortly.....

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I think she has had the house since the mid 90s. It has nearly tripled in value since then.


The guide above is interesting but mainly advises on lower values.


So my original question remains...can she put the bills in her name so it appears that its her residence?

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I'm not certain on this, but IIRC, when my mum looked into this when my dad was working from home (which would render part of the property subject to capital gains tax under certain conditions) the time frame was 3 years, not 6 months as fully residential

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How about this for some advice to give your friend PAY THE TAX ,sounds as though they have made a shed load anyway.and some moral advice to you, would you ask the same question if your friend was asking how to screw the benifits system ? Don't get me wrong I also dislike paying my tax but that's life.

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